The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – February 9, 2017

A. Weekend schedule

Friday, February 10
Scores Watch
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [9] Georgia @ [3] Florida LINK SEC
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [6] Alabama @ [10] Kentucky LINK SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Kent State @ Eastern Michigan LINK
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – North Carolina, Pitt, William & Mary @ NC State LINK ACC+
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – UW-Stout @ UW-La Crosse FREE
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [14] George Washington, [25] Iowa State, Lindenwood @ [13] Missouri LINK SEC+
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – SEMO, UW-Whitewater, UW-Eau Claire, Winona State (@ Milwaukee) LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Hamline @ Gustavus Adolphus LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma v. [16] Auburn (@ Oklahoma City) LINK FSN
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [2] LSU @ [23] Arkansas LINK SEC
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [15] Cal @ Arizona P12
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Utah State @ [20] Southern Utah FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Sacramento State @ San Jose State LINK FREE
Saturday, February 11
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Bridgeport, Ithaca, Brockport @ Cornell Ivy $
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Springfield @ West Chester
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [7] Michigan @ Michigan State LINK BTN+
2:30 ET/11:30 PT – New Hampshire @ Bowling Green LINK FB
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [19] Nebraska @ Minnesota LINK BTN
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [18] Ohio State @ Penn State LINK FREE
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Stanford @ [5] UCLA LINK P12
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [4] Utah @ [11] Oregon State LINK P12
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [21] Illinois, UIC @ [22] Iowa LINK? BTN+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Arizona State @ [17] Washington P12
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Maryland, Yale, Penn @ Rutgers LINK
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – BYU, Centenary @ TWU LINK FREE
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [8] Boise State @ [12] Denver LINK DU $
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – UC Davis, Seattle Pacific @ Air Force FREE
Sunday, February 12
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Central Michigan @ Ball State LINK ESPN3
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Northern Illinois @ Western Michigan LINK ESPN3
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Cortland @ Ursinus FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Southern Connecticut, Rhode Island @ Brown
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [24] West Virginia, Temple, North Carolina @ Towson LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – SEMO @ Illinois State FREE

Note: We have a time change from the originally released schedules. Nebraska @ Minnesota will at 4:00 ET/1:00 PT, not 5:00 ET/2:00 PT, and will be televised on BTN. Also, North Carolina has been added to the Towson meet on Sunday to make up for the lost meet last weekend.

Saturday afternoon is the new Friday evening with a ton of ranked teams bunched together. Meanwhile, Sunday is the new…November? Pull yourself together, Sunday.

B. Meet Notes

  • Georgia @ Florida. Georgia has been more or less steadying itself for the past month, with just a breakdown or two on beam peppered in for bad luck, but now things get difficult with top-6 opponents in every meet remaining in the regular season. Challenging Florida in Florida seems unlikely, but a 197 road score is an attainable aim for Georgia. As for Florida, even in defeat to Alabama, the Gators looked on track. One key area I’ll be watching for both teams is bars landings. Florida has been giving up too much there so far this season in the form of one-tenth hops (really missing the stuck-DLO auto-9.9s from Sloan and Caquatto), while Georgia’s search for a road 197 will require Dickson, Schick and company sticking bars for 9.9s, among the most realistic 9.9s in Georgia’s repertoire. Also, Snead and Chant?
  • Oklahoma v. Auburn. As discussed in the rankings for this week, Auburn‘s scoring quest is starting to get real, and the need for a serious 196 is increasing each week, lest a #3 seed be Auburn’s future. Despite being in Oklahoma City, the Perfect 10 Challenge counts as a road meet for Oklahoma, a road meet they have never lost and at which they have never scored sub-197. That’s not going to change this year.
  • Stanford @ UCLA. I’d say we’re still in the same place with UCLA, multiple routines with 10-potential on bars and beam, waiting on floor and vault to get healthy and competitive. Last year, the visit to UCLA was when Stanford kicked things into postseason level, and while this meet was later in the season in 2016 than it is this year, Stanford’s low scores so far mean it might be worth emerging from the cocoon at UCLA once again if Price’s knee and Spector’s existence allow. They have run out of meets to drop.
  • Utah @ Oregon State. Last week’s results would indicate that we might actually be verging somewhere close to upset potential in this meet, though I wouldn’t pick it. Utah enters as the favorite, but cleaning up some of those weaker vault and bars routines is the task because Oregon State should be counted on for a 196.
  • Actual competitive meets. Boise State‘s visit to Denver should get real. Boise State is ranked higher after last week’s 197 and Denver’s corresponding meltdown in Oklahoma, but Denver’s home scores have been stronger than Boise State’s road scores so far. Chesnok came back on vault for Denver on Monday to give them a critical 6th routine. It wasn’t a good score, but she’s usually capable of a 9.800, which makes that lineup a lot less precarious. Now, about some of those early bars routines.
  • George Washington‘s visit to Missouri will be another clash of equivalent rankings. GW’s season high is higher than Missouri’s, but Missouri is at home and I’d have to think has the edge as a result. We rarely get to see GW, but that’s a busy time of day for meets. Try to make some time for GW, he says to himself futilely. Illinois and Iowa honestly could go either way. I’m pleased that Illinois is starting to find its way again after last season’s trauma. Both teams rely on star turns on bars to get their scores, but Illinois’s newfound beam strength led by Leduc’s 9.950s is turning that event into an actual top-10 asset. Nebraska to Minnesota on Saturday should also get serious if Minnesota’s home results and Nebraska’s road results so far are anything to go by. Nebraska is still teetering on bad-RQS land.

C. Problem solved!

NCAA gymnastics finally got around to solving its biggest and most serious obstacle this week. No, not that one. Or that one. No, not that one either. Keep going. …. Keep going. Yeah, there we are. It appears an email went around to the programs this week informing them that excessive use of chalk for non-gymnastics reasons on floor will result in a flat 0.2 deduction. So, goodbye chalkography. Phew. That was a really pressing issue.

So in case you’re keeping track, we’ve still got Nassar-apologist head coaches, slut-shaming eating-disorder promoting head coaches, and unfertilized ova verbally committing to colleges, but at least no one can have any fun anymore.

Dear Georgia: Please put Vivi Babalis last on floor this week, and if you already have five countable scores, just have her go up, dump the entire thing of chalk on the floor, write, “Nevertheless, she persisted” in it, and then walk off.

D. Elite Canada and Reykjavik

Elite competitions? What are those? Anyway, a couple of them barely took place last weekend, starting with Elite Canada, where the tier-1 Canadian gymnasts were too cool (or injured) for school and totally cut Hitting Bars 101 and no one even noticed. This allowed new kid on the block Jade Chrobok (pronounced Crow-bok, like a crowbar made of bok choy…goodbye forever) to take the all-around title.

Meanwhile in Reykjavik, Iceland invited favorite daughter Eythora Thorsdottir to return to her ancestral volcanic ice garden and deliver a triumphant message of beatdowns on Daria Spiridonova, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, and some poor local children. Also, an American competed at a meet. I know! It’s very exciting.

E. Routine and D-scores

As I add 2017 routines to the Routine Database, I’ll also be including a breakdown of the gymnasts’ intended D-scores for those routines for reference. For example, the gymnasts who competed in Reykjavik: Thorsdottir, Spiridonova, and Johnson-Scharpf.

Thorsdottir’s beam is quite noticeably changed from her 2016 composition to adapt to the new code, having—along with Spiridonova—added an actual mount (!) for actual D value (!) and also having ditched the C-valued sheep jump as I expect many, many to do in the coming months. Praise be! Her routine has a very high potential difficulty of 6.0 (the equivalent of 6.5 in the 2016 code), largely a result of taking advantage of the new mixed-series bonus, but it’ll be interesting to see how this ends up getting evaluated because the D-score risk in this composition is quite high.

Thorsdottir – Beam
2017 (February)
Round-off, bhs mount (D) + Split jump (B) + Wolf jump (A) = 0.1 CV
1.5 turn (B) + Side aerial (D) + Korbut (B) = 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Split leap (B) + Front aerial (D) + Illusion turn (D) = 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
L turn (C) + Switch leap (C) + Y turn (C) + Full turn (A) = 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Round-off (B) + Back 2.5 (D)
Acro – DDDD = 1.6
Dance – DCCC = 1.3
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV and SB = 1.1
D-SCORE = 6.0

But in watching this routine, it doesn’t even take a particularly harsh eye to get this D-score down into the low 5s by not giving credit to these connections and series. To maintain a competitive D, Thorsdottir will have to upgrade back to the 3/1 dismount (I assume that’s the plan anyway), which will bump the D-score up an additional 0.4 because of the return of dismount connection bonus. So yeah, it’s quite possible that Thorsdottir will be trying for a 6.4 D in the current code, even with just 2.0 in CR instead of 2.5.

F. GymCastic

This week, Jessica, Lauren, and I mostly laugh about walls of Russian babies, horrifying leotard fits, ball catching, and crotch trains. But, we also talked recent elite competitions, NCAA highlights, and British trampolining drama (and yes, I know I said Britain sent one female trampolinist to Rio when it was actually two), then ditched the fun for an update on the shambles that is Michigan State’s handling of literally every single thing involving Larry Nassar.

The site may or may not be wonky today, but remember you can always listen from the box on this page.

G. Beam routine of the week

I was thinking about Rulfovas, just as you do sometimes, specifically why a human being would choose to do that to herself unless she did it like Ashley Postell. So, the beam routine of the week belongs to Ashley Postell.

 

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